Monthly Archives: February 2020

Feb 29

Playster vs Audible – Audiobook Wars – Which is best?

By Stacy Porter | Audiobook Wars , Blog

Welcome to Playster vs Audible - the showdown! Which audiobook subscription service is best? It's hard to say, both have their advantages and disadvantages, but in this post we'll be going through each of the pros and cons for each service and coming to a conclusion to help you understand which audiobook subscription service you should be giving your money.

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Contender #1 - Playster

Playster is our first contender in this battle of Audible vs Playster. Playster doesn't just offer audiobooks, Playster offers a wide variety of media including movies, music, regular books and even video games. However, they are all charged separately, so you can just get Playster for the audiobook service if that is what interests you.

Playster was founded in 2014 and it can be accessed using any normal web browser on Windows or Mac. It is also accessible on iOS and android devices.

Regarding pricing, Playster is the definite winner here with $14.95 per month for the basic version (which allows access to all "basic" books) and $29.95 per month for the Premium plan. I've found that the premium plan is well worth the money as the variety and quality of the audiobooks on offer is much better.

Contender #2 - Audible

Welcome to our second contender - Audible. Audible is a big name in this space and it is owned by Amazon. They have a massive library with every kind of audiobook you can think of.

However, Audibles pricing structure is very different. You get credits that can be redeemed for audiobooks. for $14.95/month you get 1 credit per month and for $22.95 per month you get 2 credits per month. There is a rollover of credits of up to 5 credits for the Gold plan and 10 credits for the Platinum plan.

In terms of what is available, their is a much better selection for Audible compared to Playster, however Playster is much, much more affordable if you are planning on listening to more than 1 or 2 audiobooks per month.

If you're a bit of an audiobook addict, like me, you might want to try out Playster to see if they have the titles you are interested in.

So, who wins?

This was a tough one to compare two great services, but Playster clearly wins the best value for your money and if you're someone who listens to a lot of audibooks, it's definitely worth giving them a try. However, if you only have a few select audiobooks you want to listen to and they are not available on Playster, Audible might be the right fit for you.

Feb 22

Audiobooks.com Review – Is it worth it?

By Stacy Porter | Audiobook Service Reviews

You are probably a fan of books, or someone you know is into books. Well, for many, the increasing popularity of audio books is present, so if you are interested in them, you probably know the numerous options that are available for accessing your favorite authors. Some of these options include Playster, Audible and Scribd – all of them allowing you to buy your favorite books on CD.

The thing you can keep in mind is the more costly nature of audiobooks – in fact, they actually cost more than the print version, so the bill you pay can increase quickly. The most successful audio book service, Audible, for instance, limits you to a few books a month. If you are an avid reader, this may not be enough for you.

We make some money when you purchase a product from a link on our website. If you found the content helpful, please use the link to get to the chosen provider of your choice. It doesn't cost you a thing and it helps us put out great content. The money involved does not effect the ratings of any given product or service, we just link to an affiliate if there is one available after we write the article.

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This has led to the rise of a newer service called Audiobooks.com, offering itself up as a nice alternative to the section of people that enjoy these products – you can even think of it as the ‘Netflix of audio books’. However, how does it measure up, and is it worth considering? Read on to find out.

The membership information

Regarding the membership status, there is only one membership plan available (at least for the moment). While it may not be a bad thing to consider more options for joining, it increases the efficiency in enrolment and makes the tracking process easier to handle.

Once you secure your membership, you will receive new credits that allow you to make purchases every month. You just have to pay a fee of $14.95 every month, which makes it the same as Playster and Audible payment plans.

There is a good thing about the prices of audio books on the platform – in fact, one of the best aspects it has. The prices of books are fixed, so there is no need to start worrying about whether you can afford a certain book you want to buy in the future. You know exactly what it costs, and you can plan ahead.

Another great thing about audiobooks.com is their free trial lasting 30 days, and it gives you one free credit that you can use to purchase your first audio book. If you are thinking of trying out the site, it is a good idea, as you can cancel at any time, with no extra complications attached. You can also check their library and see if the books they have are what you are looking for.

The store and library

One thing is for sure – the library of this site is massive. With over 100,000 books to choose from, it gives you almost the same opportunities as Playster, another good audio books site. The library is also decent, although it will not compare to the Amazon service Audible, which contains more than 80,000 books available to buy and download.

It is important to keep something in mind though you will not always find everything you are looking for on audiobooks.com. It has a high rate of findings, but these amount to about 75 percent. This is not a bad figure, considering that there are stores that have fewer books and smaller libraries; but you will not always get a book you are looking for even if it is popular.

The library has nice features and a good user interface, much better than some other sites. However, a book store must be able to give you the books you are searching for, at least when you are signing up for membership – even if it is above the usual cost. In this regard, there are stores that will beat out this platform, though it is still a good option.

There is an advantage this site holds over more established sites like Audible though – it allows you to buy extra credits using the same price as the first time you bought them. In this way, it is more affordable and has greater flexibility, especially if you a heavy consumer of books every month (more than two books). In addition, once you buy a book, it is yours for the keeping, even if you cancel your membership afterwards – unlike Playster, which operates like a streaming platform. This also makes it good if you are a heavy listener of audiobooks every month and you need to work within a budget.

All this means that the prices on Audiobooks.com are competitive. Every credit costs only $14.95, which is a better figure than what many other sites offer. In fact, it is only Scribd and Audiobooksnow.com that have lower costs on each book on average.

If you would like to explore some options, then you can either shop on the app or go online. Regardless of the method you choose, it is easy to explore the inventory of the site, since it has clickable book covers. This makes it have the feel of an actual book store. Its library is also very organized, as the categories are very specific. For instance, there are books classified under ‘Bets nostalgic listens’, ‘religion and spirituality’, ‘perfect firs listens’, and so on.

However, the drawback lies in the free book section, whose selection is slightly underwhelming. The offers on there are not exclusive to the platform, as they are either LibriVox books or public domain reads, and you can find them elsewhere on the internet. If these are what you plan to read, then you are better off with a free app instead of paying monthly fees to access them.

Is it easy to use?

The short answer here is yes. If you have used the Audible audiobook app, you will notice that Audiobooks.com has a similar design on their app, which is free to download on both Android and iOS stores. All the usual features you expect on an audiobook app are present. These include a sleep timer, narration speed adjustment, places to take important notes, and bookmarks.

All you need to begin from is clicking a button, and it opens a small window (if you are using a web browser), or a new window or tab (if you are on mobile), and then you can begin listening.

The organization of all these features is also simple and user friendly. For instance, adjusting the volume settings is very easy, which is a plus for them. In addition, all icons are contained on the main page, instead of a side menu.

In case you would like to move from the mobile app to a computer, you do not need to worry about losing your reading history. It also allows you to access your library on the webpage, as it provides syncing services across all the devices you use. 

When you visit the webpage, you will also notice that the latest book you are listening to is there, along with added suggestions and other books you may not have finished. The site additionally gives you recommendations depending on what you enjoy, and all product pages have legitimate customer reviews.

However, there are no chapter markers, so it is hard to tell the time left to finish a chapter, or the time you need to skip to the following chapter. This feature can particularly be useful if you are listening to a book of short stories or essays, for instance.

The apps themselves are easy to use, but they can take up significant storage space. You need to be careful because of that. In addition to that, avoid listening to books when you do not have a Wi-Fi plan (mobile broadband plans can outstrip your finances very quickly when you are downloading books). The website advises you to set aside about 150MB of storage for the books, although it does not indicate how much space each book occupies.

The quality of the audio itself is also fine, and it bears no significant difference from audiobooks on other platforms.

The customer support

The support features are not going to blow you away exactly, as they are not as developed as those on other platforms such as Audible. For instance, you cannot return books if you do not like them, unlike Audible that allows the user to return a book.

Contacting Audiobooks.com is possible on phone, as long as you do it during day hours, while the email support is also present. However, the FAQs page could use some improvements, and the live chat option is also not available.

Final verdict

Among the major pros of this service is the allowance for buying additional credits at fixed and affordable prices, while the major con is the lack of the extensive collection. However, it still remains a good option if you would like to build your library, and you are an avid consumer of audio books.

Regarding the design of its mobile app to the membership plan, it seems that the platform is seeking to follow the steps of Audible, the most successful Amazon audio book site. It does give you a very good price range for its books, so they only need to expand their library selection. You can try the other alternatives as well, including Scribd, Playster and Audible, and see what works for you – as they all have free membership trial periods.

Feb 12

Audible vs Audiobooks.com

By Stacy Porter | Audiobook Wars

Reading books improve one’s cognitive and imaginative abilities. But despite this fact, many people still have a hard time reading books cover to cover. Some people would love to read but they just don’t have the time. On the flip side, others are just lazy. But, whichever category you fall in, audiobooks are here to the rescue.

Listening to an audiobook is convenient as it allows you to multitask. I mean, you can listen to an audiobook while you fly, drive or relax at home. And here is the most interesting bit: neuroscientists maintain that listening to an audiobook has the same effects on your brain as reading a book.

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Disclaimer

Given the convenience and accessibility of audiobooks, they have experienced a rise in popularity over the past few years. This spike in demand has led to the creation of numerous audiobook services. And while it’s great to have choices, deciding the best platform to use can be frustrating especially since the services are so similar. To help you out, I’ve taken the liberty of piecing together a detailed comparison of Audiobooks.com vs Audible.

Spoiler Alert! Don't want to read the entire in-depth review?

If you don' t have the time or the desire to read a massive in-depth review, I will explain in in short form here.

Audible and Audiobooks.com are great services. But in terms of affordability, Audiobooks.com wins hands down. You get much more for your money and the selection is almost as good as audible. So if it's a showdown between Audiobooks.com and Audible - Audiobooks.com wins. You can even sign up for a free trial to test it out yourself before worrying about spending any money.

However, aside from Audible and Audiobooks.com there is actually a third contender that blows both of them out of the water!

Scribd is an unlimited audiobook AND ebook service that boasts access to over 1 million books, audiobooks, magazines and sheet music for just one monthly fee of $8.99. It is significantly cheaper than both Audible and Audiobooks.com and gives you unlimited access - so if you don't like a book or audiobook, you just get a new one, free!

Just like Audiobooks.com - Scribd comes with a completely free 30 day free trial. There's no reason not to give it a try, just make a reminder on your phone for 29 days so that you can cancel if you decide you don't like the service. But we love it! I've been a Scribd subscriber since 2017 and I've never run out of interesting books to read AND listen to.

People with a particular taste for audiobooks might want to consider a combination of both Scribd and Audiobooks.com. Scribd is for the usual, regular listening and reading. Giving you access to tons of books and audiobooks, and for any books that scribd doesn't offer in it's selection, Audiobooks.com is likely to have. This is what I do as an intense listener that listens to audiobooks everyday and sometimes wants to listen to specific books that are recommended by friends. If you're just looking for high quality books and audiobooks for one small monthly price though, Scribd on it's own will do just fine! Give them a try by clicking this link and signing up for free


Audiobooks.com vs. Audible

Basically, the concept of listening to audiobooks resembles Netflix streaming in the sense that users download audiobooks to supported devices and listen to them when it’s convenient. All audiobook services use this concept. However, they have different features which set them apart from each other.

Audible and Audiobooks.com are the most popular audiobook companies. New entrants inevitably have to measure up to the standards these two have set over the years. But how do the two measure-up to each other? And which company is better? Well, honestly, they each have their fair share of pros and cons.

Audible

Audible is owned by Amazon. The company was started more than two decades ago. When it first opened shop, it presented the world with a portable audio player (the first of its kind) which was designed specifically for audiobooks. The device cost $200 and could only hold 2 hours of audio. Today, this capacity fades in comparison to the hundreds of audiobooks and cumulative hours Audible has in its library. The number of devices compatible with the audible app has also increased exponentially over the years.

Pros

  • Audiobooks purchased are for keeps
  • It has a large library
  • Has WhisperSync for Kindle users
  • Great refund policy

Cons

  • Credits are lost once membership is canceled
  • Credits can expire if left in the account for too long
  • With the basic plan, you get only 1 audiobook a month

Audiobooks.com

Audiobook.com was started by a team of tech and book nerds in 2012 as a subsidiary of ‘Simply audiobooks’. In 2017, it was bought by RB Media. When it first started, it offered its monthly users unlimited access to their audiobooks. However, in 2012, Audiobooks.com canceled the unlimited access plan and reduced it to one audiobook a month. Over the years, the company has attracted a strong following and the app has had more than 1 million downloads.

Pros

  • Has a user-friendly app
  • Mobile device compatibility
  • Large audiobook selection

Cons

  • Limited subscription options
  • Slightly expensive

Audiobooks.com vs Audible – Price

Audible

Audible offers new members a free 30-day trial. During this trial, you have one free credit to spend on any book you like. In case you end up disliking the service, you can cancel the subscription at any time. And even after cancelling your subscription, you get to keep your audiobook.  After the 30-day period elapses, Audible automatically enrolls you into its Gold plan. For $14.95 a month, you get one credit redeemable for one audiobook monthly.  But for avid ‘readers’ 1 audiobook a month is not enough.

Think of it this way: an average audiobook is only 10 hours long. Most listeners go through these hours in about 5 days. So in addition to 1 credit, the Gold plan comes with a standard 30% discount on additional audiobook buys. If you decide to pay upfront and get the Gold Annual Membership, you pay $149.50. Essentially, you earn yourself 2 free months.

Other membership plans include Platinum and Silver. With the Platinum Membership, you get 2 credits every month for $22.95. This translates to 2 audiobooks of your choice every month. And if you ever need extra audiobooks, you can purchase audiobooks at a 30% discount. Like the Gold Plan, you can pay for Platinum Membership in advance for $229.50 and get two free months.

Audible keeps the Silver Plan ‘hidden’. They don’t advertise it. The Silver Plan costs $14.95 for two months. Users get one credit during the two months. To enroll in this plan, you have to request Audible for a downgrade.

Audiobooks.com

Like Audible, Audiobooks.com uses a subscription business model. However, instead of 3 membership plans, audiobooks.com has one. With its membership plans, you get 1 credit for $14.95 every month. The price is similar to Audible's Gold Plan. If you wish to read more, you'll have to purchase extra credit. But here’s the thing: with Audiobooks.com, you already know how much it will cost - $14.95. This means that for expensive audiobooks, you save more with Audiobooks.com than with Audible. Lastly, for users who've enabled Instacredit on their audiobook.com app, you don't have to buy credits. Your purchase will be directly charged to the registered card.

As a new member, you get a 30-day free trial membership. The membership comes with a free credit to use on any audiobook you fancy. And while we are on it, I should mention that audiobook.com has a gift center which features 4 present packages ranging from 1-12 months.

Note:  The person you wish to surprise has to be in the same country as you.

The gift plans are as follows:

  • 1 month subscription - $14.95
  • 3 months subscription - $44.85
  • 6 month subscription - $79.70
  • 12 month subscription - $149.40

Audiobooks.com vs Audible – Compatibility

Audible

You can listen to Audible audiobooks on lots of devices including smartphones, PCs MP3 players, tablets, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Alexa enabled devices, and Amazon Fire TV. And with the Car Mode feature, you can listen to your audiobooks in your car as you drive around.

Audiobooks.com

Audiobooks.com has a desktop and a mobile app version. With these apps, you can listen to audiobooks on virtually any device that supports the app including PCs, Smart TVs, and Smartphones.

When listening to your audiobooks, you can switch from your PC to your smartphone without losing your place. Your progress is always synced across all devices.

Audiobooks.com vs Audible – Library

Audible

Audible.com is more like an 800 lbs gorilla in this area. It features more than 180,000 audiobooks categorized into different genres. The genres include:

  • Health and Fitness
  • Kids
  • History
  • Thrillers and Mysteries
  • Drama and Poetry
  • Comedy
  • Business
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Sci-Fi and Fantasy
  • Teens
  • Sports

And many more. Basically, if you cannot find an audiobook on audible, chances are it doesn’t exist.

Audiobooks.com

Though Audiobooks.com doesn’t have a library as big as Audible, it’s still pretty impressive. It features over 100,000 audiobook titles organized into genre categories similar to Audible. However, Audiobooks.com goes an extra mile and compiles book lists for its listeners. The book lists include:

  • Perfect First Listens
  • Essential Summer Listens
  • Great British Reads
  • Top New Releases
  • Sunday Times Non-Fiction
  • The Art of Adulting

And many more.

Audiobooks vs Audible – Refund Policy

Audible

If you happen to purchase an audiobook and realize it’s faulty, or for some reason you don’t like it, you return the book. Here’s how the refund policy works:

First, Audible calls it a 'Great Listen Guarantee'. This guarantee affords users the luxury of returning audiobooks they purchased in the last 12 months and did not like. If you purchased the book with credits, you’ll get a credit refund and if you used cash, your cash will be refunded. But don’t get excited yet. To keep people from taking advantage of this guarantee, the refunds are limited to 1 audiobook a month. Additionally, instead of a refund, you could get an audiobook exchange.

Audiobooks.com

Well, Audiobooks.com does not have such an elaborate refund policy. For the most part, purchases are final. However, if your case is genuine, you can always get in touch with the customer service via Live Chat or Email.

Note that Audiobooks.com grants refunds at their discretion. But if the audiobook is faulty, you'll get a replacement.

Audible vs Audiobook– Conclusion

So which of these two industry giants should you subscribe to? If it's just between these two, I recommend Audiobooks.com. Sure, Audible tramps Audiobooks.com with regards to library size. But then there is the cost of purchasing extra credits. Audiobook.com offers a fixed price for additional credit. This simplifies shopping as you can anticipate the costs. So if you to listen to more than 3 audiobooks a month, then Audiobooks.com is the best choice out of these two.

Also, I found the Audiobook.com app better compared to Audible. This is mainly because Audiobook.com has Instacredit, a feature that allows direct audiobook purchases. Audible is yet to include this feature.

Sign-up for a free trial with Audiobooks.com today and give it a try - you will be pleased!

HOWEVER! there is a better option than both of these two options on the market right now. And that option is Scribd. Scribd is an UNLIMITED audiobook AND ebook subscription service. So you get two in one - plus unlimited reading and listening for just $8.99 per month! That is considerably cheaper than both Audiobooks.com and Audible. If you are the type of person to read or listen to multiple books per month, your savings could be huge!

Not only is it incredibly affordable, Scribd offers a completely free, no obligation free trial which you can sign up to by clicking here. It's a full 30 days, so simply set a reminder on your phone for 29 days in the future so you can cancel your free trial if it's not to your tastes. However, I have been with Scribd since 2017 and as an avid reader and listener of  audiobooks, it has saved me so much money and kept me entertained and educated for a bargain price. I highly suggesting giving their free trial a go, it's free after all!